I often think back to the autumn of 2013—the year my life underwent a big shift in all areas—and the blog post I wrote with it. "To say that September brought extraordinary opportunities to my door would understate the fact that it was probably the busiest, craziest, most serendipitous and exhausting month in my life thus far, passing in what feels like a single day." That's from this post made two years ago, when apparently I was working harder than ever before in life, love, and the label (although at the time Aloha Got Soul was a year away from becoming an actual label). But now I'm wondering: does life just get busier and busier as the years go by? Because it seems as if, in fact, that this September is the longest one of all—and it's not even a week in yet! Maybe it's because August blurred by just as quickly, blending seamlessly with September. Augustseems to have joined forces with September to become one big driving force that has brought forth a number of updates I've been meaning to update you on... but just haven't had a chance to. Here goes.
Oliver Twist and Roger Bong at Motown On Mondays Honolulu, August 2015.
Amalia at Motown On Mondays Honolulu, August 2015.
Josh Gilleran of Jamestown Massacre with Greenwood at the 70s Nightclub Reunion concert, August 2015Also performing that evening was a "musician's band" called Beowulf. They were unbelievable, incredibly talented!—but not nearly as unbelievable as they once were so I hear. As it turns out, guitarist John Rapoza (who you probably know of from the Lemuria LP) suffered a stroke some years ago and can no longer play the guitar. John joined the band on stage, but perhaps it just wasn't the same level that Beowulf once was? Back in the day, they performed alongside Carlos Santana (if I'm not mistaken) at the epic, albeit now-mythical Diamond Head Crater Festival. That's John in the center of the photograph on this low-quality YouTube recording:
John Rapoza and Roger Bong at the 70s Nightclub Reunion concert, August 2015.
David Jordan, Hideki Yamamoto, Roger Bong and Oliver Twist at Soul Time In Hawaii.
Roger Bong and Oliver Twist at Soul Time In Hawaii.
All smiles. Hideki and Oliver.
Roger Bong and Kevin Bong at Soul Time In Hawaii.Regardless of how many people attend the event, what's really begun to surface is this: everyone who attends is totally into what we're doing with Soul Time In Hawaii: playing music that we love and interspersing it with some lovely Hawaiian gems. And up next we have something of a special Soul Time edition (mainly so because we're hosting it at Bevy on a Thursday!)—it's the Nohelani Cypriano LP release party co-hosted by Be With Records. We've been working on this project for some time now, and it's rewarding to finally see it come to completion, beginning with the official release and launch party in London and now the Honolulu celebration at Bevy. We hope to see you there. Just in time for the Nohelani release party is some amazing news: the test pressings for Greenwood's vinyl version of Lost In Paradise have been approved, the LP is now underway. I met up with bandleader Robin Kimura to check it out. He's been gracious enough to lend me a copy to spin at the Nohelani release party. https://instagram.com/p/7HFsZekvRs In a way, this Thursday is going to be so, so much more than just a one-time release event. It's going to be a culmination of everything that's been happening lately. Greenwood's LP, Nohelani's reissue with be With, the strengthening of Soul Time, plus some special appearances by newly made friends Junji Hashimoto and Hideki Yamamoto (and possibly others?) on the turntables. By the way, that's Junji in the background of this photograph, taken by Mark Kushimi for an upcoming issue of BRUTUS Magazine. https://instagram.com/p/6glOhSCdsR
Mike Lundy (front) and his band, The Deltones, early 1970s.